For many college students, summer means lounging by the pool, hanging out with friends or playing video games. But for a dozen Oklahoma science students, the summer of 2015 will be a lot more work than play. And that’s exactly how they want it.
This week, OMRF welcomed its 60th class of Sir Alexander Fleming Scholars. The students, chosen from a pool of statewide applicants, will spend their summers performing laboratory research at OMRF.
Each will work side-by-side with senior medical researchers on an in-depth, individual research project. At the end of the summer, the students will write scientific papers and present their research results in formal seminars for OMRF’s scientific staff.
“This program is intense by any standards, and it takes a lot of determination for young people at this age to give up an entire summer to be a part of it,” said OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D. “But when they’re finished, they all agree the payback is incredible.”
Since the Fleming Scholar Program began in 1956, more than 500 Oklahoma students have had their first taste of laboratory research under the guidance of OMRF scientists. Many have gone to careers in medicine and research.
“As Fleming Scholars, these students get a close-up look at what it’s really like to do research,” said Carlisa Curry, program coordinator. “This experience can tell them early on if they enjoy it and have an aptitude for it. It really helps students find out what research entails.”
The 2015 Fleming Scholars are:
Blake Evans, Shawnee, KS, Kansas State University
Jake Gregston, Duncan, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
David Gutierrez, Woodward, Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Laura Jardine, Muskogee, Oklahoma City University
Krishna Manohar, Tulsa, University of Oklahoma
Savannah Martin, Duncan, Duncan High School
Kyle McCauley, McAlester, University of Oklahoma
Katie McDonald, Stillwater, Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics
Jacy O’Dell, Claremore, Oklahoma Baptist University
Jillian Schlecht, Oklahoma City, University of Tulsa
Farris Tedder, Norman, Norman High School
Michael Thellmann, Edmond, Oklahoma Christian University
Eric Wu, Edmond, Edmond North High School
For more information on the Fleming Scholar Program, visit www.omrf.org/fleming.